First Facial. Fail.

The old me… before the spa took me down a hundred notches.

I had my first facial today. I booked the facial at a super fancy Upper East Side spa, Aqua Vitae, (through Groupon, of course), and was pretty stoked about getting a relaxing facial. After a full day of 87 phone calls, 504 emails, and 6,755 text messages (all wedding related), 2 meetings at work, a performance for the preschool parents, and saying farewell to fiancé who is headed to LA. I was wiped out.

I’ve never had a facial before, so I did not really know what to expect. I’ve always wanted a facial, but anytime I thought about it, I decided that a new outfit at H&M was a wiser way to spend my cash. Also, I am REALLY uncomfortable laying still in a quiet place with my own thoughts, AND having strangers touch me. My first massage was only a year ago. 

Considering how obsessed I am with my skin, it’s surprising I’ve never forked over the money for a facial. I mean I’ve spent money on every prescription available (acutane, differin, brevoxl, ortho-tri-cyclen, yaz, tazorac, retina-a, a myriad of anitbiotis…seriously. I’ve done them all!). I’ve used proactive (and every similar product), I’ve done light therapy, cortisone shots, EVERYTHING Sephora has to offer, I’ve changed my diet, made every homemade concoction in existence, changed my pillow case every night, drank 10 bottles of water a day, I used only Bare Minerals, and I even gave up wearing makeup for 10 months straight!

Nothing. A few of these remedies helped (acutane helped for a year), but the acne has always returned).

My complexion is definitely the thing I am most insecure about. But, I’ve come to terms with it, and I now understand that my proneness to zits is heredity, and heavily effected by my hormones and stress.

Anyways, so this facial started off pretty much how I expected…lots of oils, creams, exfoliants, and face massaging. The giant steamer in my face was a little uncomfortable, but I survived.

About 30 minutes in, the facial lady starting peeling back layers of some sort of thick papery stuff, and squeezing my nose.

Me: What are you doing?

Her: Squeezing.

K. Miss Smarty Pants.

Me:  Squeezing my nose? (I was starting to have trouble breathing.)

Her: Squeezing out ALL of your blackheads.

Didn’t know this was part of a facial. This woman actually spent over half an hour squeezing out literally EVERY blackhead or zit on my entire face and neck. She used little metal tools, her hands, and needles! It was not exactly relaxing.

At the end of the all the “squeezing”, the owner came in for a consultation. (I still had my eyes covered and goo on my face.)

What followed was so hard for me to swallow. I almost lost my shit. I’ll just share her words, and you can imagine my responses….

“You have very bad skin. You have lots of acne. Your skin is so bad that I suggest you get a laser-light therapy treatment. You really need this treatment. This special facial will cure your really bad acne and skin problems. It costs $250, but I’ll give it to you for $100. You seriously need this. I suggest you come see me very often to take care of your skin, it looks really bad. Why don’t you take care of your skin? You obviously do not take care of your skin or it wouldn’t look this unhealthy. I have many suggestions for you on how to help you acne. We sell lots of products that I’d be happy to show you to help your bad skin…”


I cannot put into words how humiliated and infuriated I felt. This would be the equivalent of a really overweight person getting up the nerve to hire a professional trainer and getting berated over being “fat”. I cannot believe I managed to make it home before I started crying.

I KNOW I do not have a good complexion, but seriously, it’s not THAT bad. I cannot imagine what this lady says to people with actual serious problems. She must just put a bag over their heads and tell them it’s for the best.

I am willing to bet that this was just a bad spa with a mean owner, but I still think I’ll have to build up some self-esteem again before trying another facial. Until then, I’ll stick to the Sephora Staff. They always tell me how pretty I am. THAT’S the way to sell products!


13 thoughts on “First Facial. Fail.”

  1. I’m so sorry you went through that! I feel your pain, literally. I recently had a similar experience, minus the lecture. The worst part was the trauma my skin went through. Weeks later I am still dealing with the inflamed cystic acne that some douche thought they could just squeeze away. I swear they are just trying to get your money. It is back to ice and no picking, just like my dermatologist told me when I was twelve.

    1. Well, I guess it’s good to know I’m not alone! haha I hope I don’t have to deal with this getting worse, I am a little worried that all of that torture is going to lead to more breakouts. But, I think you’re right, I should just stick with the dermatologist!

  2. What a wench! And at an “up town” spa, you’d think they would be a lot nicer, but I guess all the good places are the smaller ones that value you a lot more. Your skin always looks nice in the pictures you post, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Go back to believing you are wonderfully pretty 🙂

  3. heart hurt for you after reading this! What an uber-bitch! I know how much dedication you put into your health and body and obviously this lady has no idea what she is talking about. She is just trying to get some $$$ and you are too smart to fall for their stupidity. Trust are beautiful and every time I see you…so you are doing something right 🙂

  4. I think they must be trained to be jerks because I had a similar experience. Mine was not given by the owner but I spent way too much on product that day….and i know because they convinced me that product was THE answer. They lost a client forever tho. Put THAT in your bank account Mr. Insensitive-Money-Desperate-Business Owner.

  5. Well, I already told you what I thought about it. Many skin issues are actually medical conditions and should be handled by a Doctor, not an estotician ( if that’s right). And having a business myself, I know that you don’t gain customers by insulting them..Anyway, you are beautiful!!

  6. There is one happy way as to dealing with these terrible people and that is the way you did it. Walk away, never return and tell your unhappy experience.
    I have had facials on and off for a few years. It is a bit like with a hairdresser or dentist. Once you find a good spa you stick with them. Unfortunately a good spa is hard to find, but they do exist.

    1. good to know, I will have to try it again… one day. I Should probably look at some more reviews. Or maybe I should find a good dentist first! have yet to do that!

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